In June of 2015, the Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Compassionate Use Act into law, allowing patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy access to low-THC cannabis. While the bill is extremely limited at this point, this is the first form of progressive medical cannabis reform in the Lone Star State.
Under Texas’ Compassionate Use Act, patients are allowed to possess up to what is recommended by their prescribing doctor. The product must be in oil form and contain no more than .5% THC as well as 10% or more in CBD.
Purchasing limits vary per patient and are prescribed by their prescribing medical professional. However, patients may only purchase low-THC cannabis products at this time.
To qualify for access to low-THC medical marijuana in Texas, a patient must be a permanent resident of the state and suffering from intractable epilepsy. No other medical conditions currently qualify.
The applicant must then be approved by two physicians that note that two or more FDA-approved drugs failed to treat the patient. There are no age limitations for license holders.
No language in the Compassionate Use Act mentions any locations barred from consuming cannabis oil. However, no other methods of medical marijuana consumption are allowed in Texas.
Although there is no specific language relating to approved consumption areas, it is recommended to consume medical cannabis out of public view within a private residence or property.
Driving Under the Influence
No language in the Compassionate Use Act mentions driving under the influence at this time. Therefore, the user would likely fall under Texas Penal Code Ann. § 49.04 (Vernon 2009)'s rules and penalties.
As a rule of thumb, we’d recommend not consuming cannabis before or while driving as the punishments are steep and certainly not worth enduring.
Registrants must carry on them or display their government-issued registration card while performing any actions under the Compassionate Use Act. This includes transporting cannabis to and from a dispensary.
While there is no written law discussing transportation of medical cannabis, we’d recommend keeping your cannabis within a child-proof container that is out of arms reach from the driver at all times.
Patients and caregivers may not take medicinal cannabis outside of the state, or transport marijuana of any kind from outside of Texas into the state.
Under the Texas Compassionate Use Act, growing marijuana for any purpose is prohibited. Only regulated dispensing organizations are allowed to cultivate medical marijuana.